The George Werden Buck Boys and Girls Club is dedicated to providing the facilities, services, and support for the youth of Joliet. Through the use of varied programs,informal guidance, and a dedicated staff, the Club is able to offer educational, vocational, and recreational opportunites to all members regardless of nationality, religion, race, creed, or sex.
In 1951 Edward N. Gosselin and John B. Anderson initiated the forming of the Boy Club in Joliet. The club was opened for operation in January 1952 in the Salvation Army building. It remained opened only four months. The first board of directors was formed in 1953 with Robert K Anderson elected board president.
The Boys Club purchased their first permanent home, located on Bluff Street, on June 1st, 1954. The Boys Club had its buildings but there was much work that needed to be done before the club could open to boys. The board and dedicated volunteers readied the club for opening day, doing much of the renovations work themselves.
By November 1954 the work had been completed and doors were open to the then 250 members. During the first year of operation, Board president, George Werden Buck, was met with an untimely passing and it was decided to name the Club the George Werden Buck Boys Club.
The Boys Club relocated to its current location in July of 1965. Many new programs were instituted with the expanded availability of space. With the construction of the club’s swimming pool in 1968, the Boys Club became a community organization.
In an effort to reach out to even more youth, the Boys Club extended its membership to include girls in March of 1976.
On the evening of February 11, 1978 a severe and tragic fire caused extensive damage throughout the buildings three floors.
Through generous community support the Boys Club was reconstructed to the beautiful facility that we have today and was reopened June 1 1980. In 1991 the Boys Club name was changed to Boys and Girls Club.
Presently the Boys and Girls Club serves over 1,200 children between the ages of 6-18 years old.